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Posts Tagged ‘sinking’

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We’re extremely pleased to know Alex and Guillermo are safe ashore in Spain after they could presumably no longer keep up with the water ingress on the sinking Hugo Boss after her abandonment of the Transat Jacques Vabre.  The structure on the new Hugo Boss continues to break down while Alex and Guillermo and the shore team are meeting as we speak to figure out if and how a salvage will happen.

While the 6 new VPLP/Verdier boats are the most complicated and technologically advanced ocean racing monos ever created, there are only a couple of really ‘new’ things about their structure: The foils and cases, which look to have been a major problem with one boat, and the ultra-thin rib-and-skin construction of the hull, which took out another.  It’ll be a little bit before we know which problem started Boss down her cascade of failure, but one thing is for sure: With four out of five new boats broken, at least one of them catastrophically, the designers have a lot to answer for – something we look forward to from the typically pretty straightforward folks at both VPLP and Guillaume Verdier Design.  Note that these boats were built at at least three different facilities…

The fact that the fifth of the new foiling boats is streaking away from the rest of the IMOCA fleet at a ridiculous pace doesn’t really help; a small turn of fate and instead of being on shore, Alex and Guillermo are adrift in a raft.  Or lost forever.

Designers are finally starting to get around to accepting the fact that keels should not be ejectable.  Their next challenge?  Hulls need to be built to last past the first delivery.

Talk in the thread here, and track what remains of the fleet here.

If you haven’t seen our one-hour interview with Alex on the deck of the now-sinking HB, get to it!


October 31st, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 11.53.06 AMCanadian First Nations members were first on the scene after the 65′ whale watching vessel Leviathan 2 went down on a clear, moderate day off Tofino, BC, with Albert Titian grabbing this shot of the horror show.  Total casualty count is 6, with five dead, one missing, and 21 rescued, and it’s not the first time Jamie’s Whaling Station has lost whalewatchers, either, if you can believe that.

The cause of the partial sinking remains a mystery: Is it another bit of evidence of a new aggression from a whale population that continues to lose their fear of humans? Deferred maintenance of pumps and stuffing boxes, or a sub strike?  The RCMP is digging, and we’ll know more soon.  Story here.


October 26th, 2015 by admin

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5087906912_20b229411a_zOne of the most popular foreigners in the IMOCA fleet, Swiss sailor Bernard Stamm continues to find himself cursed with the same bad luck that saw him DSQ from the last Vendee Globe and destroying his bow against a cargo ship in an earlier race.  And this time, it nearly killed him.

Stamm and co-skipper Damien Guillou were delivering Stamm’s Open 60 Cheminees Poujoulat – a pre-fab metal chimney manufacturer with a creepy black cat as its logo – home from Brazil after the TJV, running ahead of a not-unusual winter storm with winds to around 50 knots and seas of 30 feet, according to the British Coast Guard (it turned out to be the deepest low recorded in the British Isles since the 1880s).  When his JuanK designed boat fell off a wave, the boat literally cracked in half forward of the daggerboard casings, and only by immediately shutting the watertight crash doors did Guillou and Stamm keep the boat afloat long enough to be rescued.

The rescue itself was a super sketchy affair, with two helicopters and a plane attempting to either pull the sailors out of the sea or drop them life rafts – all efforts failed thanks to a lack of light and the huge seas.  One aircraft remained on station, guiding a Norwegian cargo ship to the stricken Open 60 and rescuing the sailors as the boat sank underneath them.  We’ll probably never know whether it was a design or construction defect that led to this near-fatal accident, but we do know this:  After Rambler 100, Artemis Racing, and now Cheminees Poujoulat, Juan K might might be either a woeful designer or just unluckier than Bernard Stamm.  And they both might be looking for a new career soon.

Here’s an interview we did with Stamm in happier days, before the last Vendee Globe, and get into the thread for more news and information on the rescue.  Photo from Stamm’s earlier Velux 5 Oceans-winning 60, mostly to show you the kitty.


December 26th, 2013 by admin

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